January includes two important events for our City – Martin Luther King Jr. Week and the Spirit of Community Dinner.
Again, the City is collaborating with Baldwin Wallace University, local churches and the Berea Branch Library to bring you a week full of exciting programs to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Week, Jan. 19-23. A complete listing of events can be found on the City and BW web sites and in the January issue of The Berean.
The theme this year is “Tipping the Scales for Justice.” Whether you take part in the candlelight march or enjoy the prayer breakfast, I’m sure you will be inspired by all this 30th annual celebration has to offer. MLK Week began in 1989 when then-Mayor Stanley Trupo and the late City Council President Mary Ashbrook joined with BW officials in the first candlelight march, which ended with a service in the BW Chapel. The observance has grown since then and is widely regarded as one of the most well-organized and comprehensive in the area.
On Jan. 21, we will recognize the City’s outstanding volunteers at the Spirit of Community banquet at the Father Garrity Center, St. Mary’s Catholic Church. I began this program when I was first elected to office. The first people I honored were my parents, John and Farrel Kleem, for their devotion to Berea and their lifelong commitment to helping others. For example, my mother began the Blanket-Making Party at the Berea Rec Center where residents bring in pieces of fleece material to be cut and tied into blankets, which are donated to area charities. This year 100 blankets went to the Veterans Outreach Office, Maryssa’s Mission Foundation, Fill This House and Cleveland Angels.
Each year, we honor individuals, groups and businesses that give time, talent and treasure to support our community. It is an honor and privilege to publicly recognize these outstanding volunteers, none of whom seek the limelight but all of whom deserve our utmost thanks.